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What is the ruling pertaining to post mortem?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by AskOurImam.com

Assalam u alaiqum

Dear Muhtaram Mufti Sahab daamat barakatuhu, I hope you and family are doing well Mufti sahib. Jazakallah for all Mufti sahabs khidma in the community and serving deen globally.Mufti sahib what is the ruling regarding post mortem in islam, it is required by the South African law to do a post mortem, how can we avoid this.

I am currently a medical student, it is the norm to cut open dead bodies to study the parts of the human body. Is this permissible? I request Mufti Sahabs duas. Jazakallah Mufti Sahab.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There are two issues in reference to your query:

  1. Post mortem
  2. Medical studies
  1. Post mortem is an examination of a corpse in order to determine cause of death. The process entails the deceased person’s body being opened, the organs being removed and examined in close detail.

Post mortem is impermissible as it violates the sanctity of a human body due to mutilating the human body[1]. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

كسر عظم الميت ككسره حيا

Translation: Mutilating the body of a deceased person by breaking his limbs is tantamount to doing it to a living person[2].

However, if the post mortem is carried out due to the requirement of the law of the country, then one will be excused.[3].

  1. It is not permissible to dissect a cadaver and remove the parts and limbs for educational purposes. As a medical student, you should excuse yourself from actively participating in dissecting a cadaver[4]. You may observe the cadavers that are being dissected.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] ولقد كرّمنا بني آدم

[Al-Qur`an, 17: 70]

ولا يجوز بيع شعور الإنسان ولا الإنتفاع بها؛ لأن الآدمي مكرم لا مبتذل، فلا يجوز أن يكون شيئ من أجزائه مهانا ومبتذلا … اھ

[Fat`h al-Qadir, (al-Bay` al-fasid), 6: 425, Mustafa alBabi al-Halabi, Egypt; Radd al-Muhtar ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtar, 5: 58, H.M. Saeed Company; al-Fatawa al-Alamgiriyyah, (Al-Karihiyah: at-Tadaawi wa al-Mu`alijat), 5: 354, Maktabah Rashidiyyah]

[Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, 18: 340-6, Dar al-Iftaa Jamiah Faruqiyyah Karachi]

[2] [Mishkat al-Masabih, (al-Jana`iz – fi an-Nah`y an kasr izam al-mayyit, p. 149, Qadimi Kutub Khana; Sunan Ibn Majah, p. 116, Qadimi Kutub Khana; Musnad al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, 7: 87 (Hadith no. 23787), Dar Ihya at-Turath al-Arabi

[3] قال الفقهاء: يضاف الفعل إلى الفاعل لا الآمر ما لم يكن مجبرا

[4] كل ما يؤدي إلى ما يجوز لا يجوز

[Ad-Durr al-Mukhtar ma`a Radd al-Muhtar (Al-hazar wa al-Ibahah: fi al-libas), 6: 360, H.M. Saeed Company]

واستدل بالآية على أن الطاعة إذا أدت إلى معصية راجحة وجب تركها، فإن ما يؤدي إلى الشرّ شرّ

[Ruh al-Ma`ani, 7: 252, Al-An`am: 108, Dar Ihya at-Turath al-Arabi Beirut; Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh mishkat al-masabih, (Al-Buyu`: al-Kasab wa talab al-halal), 6: 16 (Hadith no.2763), Maktabah Rashidiyyah]

This answer was collected from AskOurImam.com, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Hanif Yusuf Patel. He graduated from Jamiatul Ilm Wal Huda, Blackburn, U.K, with a distinction in Alimiyyah degree. He thereafter travelled to Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah Durban, South Africa, to train as a Mufti under the tutelage of Mufti Ebrahim Desai and Mufti Husain Kadodia.

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